levon-helm-the-band-cancer-dead-diesLevon Helm, one of the founding members of The Band, is in the final stages of a long battle with cancer according to a message posted to his Facebook page. Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998, but still continued to sing on albums and at concerts near his Woodstock, N.Y. home.

“Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey,” reads the Facebook message.

“Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage… We appreciate all the love and support and concern. From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy”

The Band — whose classic songs include “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” — was induced into the the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Here’s The Band — that’s Levon on the drums singing — performing “The Weight” in 1976’s “The Last Waltz”:

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson